Woody Harrelson to play President Lyndon B. Johnson for director Rob Reiner
Woody Harrelson is set to portray U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson in LBJ, a new film from A FEW GOOD MEN and STAND BY ME director Rob Reiner. Production is scheduled to begin this September in Louisiana, Texas and Washington, D.C., and Reiner will be directing from Joey Hartstone's 2014 Black List-winning script.
LBJ will follow "the political upheaval that Vice President Johnson faced when he was thrust into the presidency at the hands of an assassin’s bullet in November 1963. With political battles on both sides of the aisle, Johnson struggles to heal a nation and secure his presidency by passing Kennedy’s historic Civil Rights Act."
Rob Reiner on why he wants to make a movie about the 36th President of the United States:
During the sixties, I was a hippy and Lyndon Johnson was my president. At the time LBJ was the target of most of my generation’s anti-Vietnam-War anger. But as time has passed and my understanding of political realities has grown; I’ve come to see LBJ in a very different light. He was a complex man; a combination of brilliant political instinct, raw strength, ambition, and deep insecurities. The strength and power of persuasion that he showed to his colleagues existed alongside of a soft, almost childlike quality that perhaps only Lady Bird got to see. His life’s path was nothing short of Shakespearean. From the poor hill country of West Texas to the corridors of power in Washington, he used his brilliant political acumen to pass the most groundbreaking civil rights legislation of the twentieth century. And had it not been for the Vietnam War, I believe he would have gone down as one of America’s greatest presidents.
HBO also has a Lyndon B. Johnson film in the works, with Bryan Cranston reprising his Tony Award-winning role from Robert Schenkkan’s stage play All the Way. Rob Reiner's recent directorial efforts have been (to put it nicely) subpar, but Woody Harrelson always delivers, and I'm hopeful that LBJ will be a return to form for Reiner.
Rob Reiner's BEING CHARLIE starring Nick Robinson, Common and Cary Elwes doesn't have a release date yet, but will likely open in late 2015 or sometime in 2016, while Woody Harrelson can be seen next in John Hillcoat's TRIPLE 9, which will hit theaters on March 4, 2016.
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